Mayday Stage Five Clinger

behavior modification Apr 15, 2022
Board & Train in Charlotte, Nc


Mayday Stage Five Clinger

Does it make you a bad dog mom if you just wish your dog would leave you the fuck alone now and then?


Absolutely not. You’re the best kind of dog mom, because you want to understand why your dog is so clingy and what you can do to help. 


Your pup will be a lot happier once you understand what’s behind this behavior and take steps to address it.


Why Won’t My Dog Leave Me Alone?


There are many reasons why dogs hound their owners. Some breeds are simply wired that way. The best guard dogs, like Rottweilers and German Shepherds, are really just doing their jobs. How can they protect their owners if they’re not keeping watch? 


Lap dogs have cuddling in their DNA. 


And all dogs are pack animals. They’ve been domesticated for thousands of years, but that natural instinct to belong to a family hasn’t changed. Loyalty and dependability are the traits that make dogs awesome… as long as it’s kept on a healthy spectrum and balanced by independence. 


Clinginess in Dogs Is Learned Behavior


It’s important to understand when you’re rewarding good behavior versus when you’re encouraging unwanted behaviors by giving your dog what it craves.


Desensitize your pet to certain parts of your routine by removing the reward from the action.


Does your dog follow you into the kitchen every single time? That makes sense if the dog has learned that a trip to the kitchen results in a treat. It’s hard to resist those puppy dog eyes when you’re making something delicious for dinner.


Start walking to the kitchen just because. Wipe off the counter. Make a grocery list. The idea is to let your dog know that it’s not missing out on anything interesting if it just stays put. Be cool. Act like it’s a non-event and soon enough, it will be.


When Is It Time to Worry?


If your fiercely independent dog has morphed into a velcro dog, it may be time for concern. This can happen when something changes in your dog’s physical environment, like a move to a new home. 


But it can also happen when their safe space suddenly seems unfamiliar.


Increased anxiety in dogs could be explained by sensory changes, like vision or hearing loss. They don’t know how to exist in the world in the same way, so they stick to the person they trust most (you) to protect them.


Dogs can be a lot like people when they’re not feeling well. They just want to be taken care of, but they can’t tell us with words. Instead, they may follow us around, whine, or even try to keep us from leaving home.


If stage five clinger status comes out of nowhere, it’s definitely time for a call to your vet. Don’t dilly-dally with this one. Seek out the pros, pronto. 



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